The Career Advisory Board that I established by DeVry University recently released the fifth annual Job Preparedness Indicator survey. This year’s findings indicate hiring managers are receptive to candidates changing careers, especially if their previous experience can be applied to the new position; but above all else, integrity is the No. 1 trait that candidates should possess.
Our annual research surveys 500 hiring managers in the U.S. to identify gaps between job candidate attributes and the applicant traits for which hiring managers are seeking. These gaps are identified by assessing desirable skills that are least common among entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level candidates. Here are some of our key takeaways:
Do your research, especially for a career change
- Hiring managers are increasingly more willing to consider candidates changing industries, with 38 percent stating they were very likely to consider a career changer with the right skills. Eagerness to learn is an asset, as more than half of respondents want to hire people who show willingness to gain the right experience and further develop their skills.
- The top concerns cited in the survey about career changing candidates included a lack of industry experience and an inability to assimilate into the organizational culture. However, 60 percent of hiring managers noted that these candidates can improve their chances of serious consideration for employment by devising a concise and sensible explanation for the change.
Attitude is everything
- Interestingly, for the fifth consecutive year, hiring managers say attitude outranks skill – especially when it comes to personal ethics. This year, however, integrity was ranked the No. 1 most important trait for a jobseeker to possess at any level.
- Candidates should keep in mind that hiring managers are naturally skeptical. Job seekers should be prepared to share examples of themselves being authentic and transparent in the workplace.
Adaptability is key
- In today’s business environment, change and evolution are constant. Hiring managers want to see candidates demonstrate adaptability and flexibility to changing situations.
- Job seekers need to articulate how they have adapted to change, with positive outcomes resulting because of their adaptive nature.
Make a good impression
- Technology allows hiring managers and candidates to connect virtually; however, face-to-face interviews remains as the preferred interview method – meaning job candidates need to know how to make a connection and hone their interpersonal skills for in-person interviews.
- As 46 percent of hiring managers surveyed cited strong interviewing skills as an important trait, candidates need to engage the interviewer in the conversation and not just answer their questions.
For full study results, head over to CareerAdvisoryBoard.org.